Six Baltimore Officers Suspended Over In-Custody Death

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BALTIMORE –  More than a week after Freddie Gray was arrested in Baltimore, and a day since he died, authorities are still scrambling to find out exactly what happened and why.

“I’ll tell you what I do know, and right now there’s still a lot of questions I don’t know. I know that when Mr. Gray was placed inside that van, he was able to talk. He was upset. And when Mr. Gray was taken out of that van, he could not talk, and he could not breathe,” Baltimore Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez told reporters Monday.

He spoke the same day an autopsy was done on the body of Gray, which showed that he died from a severe injury to his spinal cord. “What we don’t know, and what we need to get to, is how that injury occurred,” Rodriguez said.

The Baltimore Police Department is investigating the death and has asked for calm as the process unfolds. But many in the community, including the city’s mayor, are angry.

“This is a very, very tense time for Baltimore City, and I understand the community’s frustration. I understand it because I’m frustrated. I’m angry that we are here again — that we have had to tell another mother that their child is dead,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told reporters. “I’m frustrated not only that we’re here, but we don’t have all of the answers.”

Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said that police plan to conclude their investigation by Friday, May 1. From there, the case will go to the state’s attorney’s office, which will decide whether or not to file.

Gray was arrested a week ago Sunday. He “gave up without the use of force,” according to Rodriguez.

An officer apparently took his Taser out, and was prepared to use it on Gray, but he never deployed it.

“None of the officers describe using any force against Mr. Gray,” said the deputy police commissioner.

A total of six officers were involved in the arrest, and all six have been suspended.

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